AsiaContainersDry CargoTankers

K Line top brass face repeated calls for their removal

Once again top brass at Japan’s third largest shipping line, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line) are fearing for their jobs as a key shareholder has called for their removal. For the second time in consecutive years the Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) has recommended that shareholders vote against the reelection of Jiro Asakura as chairman and Eizo Murakami as president and CEO at an AGM scheduled for June 21.

ISS claims Tokyo-listed K Line has underperformed in terms of capital efficiency, posting an average return on equity (ROE) of less than 5% over the last five fiscal years.

K Line has responded however urging shareholders to keep faith with top management who are pushing through reforms to improve ROE.

“We do not foresee a full recovery in the market and in light of this, we have continued to carry out structural reforms, continued cost reductions and improvements to the efficiency of the allocation of the fleet,” K Line stated.

Summing up, K Line stated: “We once again would like to humbly request that you as shareholders exercise your voting right based not on ISS’s recommendation of an against vote based solely on formulaic criteria lacking in individual analysis of the reality of our business, but on the stewardship code and full understanding of our incessant efforts and the results to enhance and improve our business performance.”

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. Does anyone know who has instructed ISS to examine the figures and, as a result, make the recommendation? It’s pretty common knowledge that Effissimo Capital Management (based in Singapore and run by the colourful – and unrelated – Yoshiaki Murakami) owns about 38% of the shares, but apparently voted to keep the current Management Team in place last year, whereas the article says that ISS has recommended a change for the second year in a row.

Back to top button